Tag Archives: conventions

The Sunshine Steam: An Account of the Inaugural Florida Steampunk Society Exhibition East, Part 2–Guest blog by S.J. Chambers

Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series about S.J.’s steampunk adventures in Florida. Read Part 1 here.

Abney Park at the Florida Steampunk Society Exhibition East, Daytona Beach Resort, Florida.

The main event was Saturday night.  Opening with Cog is Dead, an intermission performance by local artist Perego, the audience was thoroughly warmed up for headliners Abney Park. This was my first time seeing the “quintessential” Steampunk band live, and I was really impressed with how the band’s energy fed into the audience and vice versa.

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The Sunshine Steam: An Account of the Inaugural Florida Steampunk Society Exhibition East–Guest blog by S.J. Chambers

Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series about S.J.’s steampunk adventures in Florida. Stay tuned Wednesday this week for the rest!

Dr. Imro: Impressive medicine cabinet of Dr. Imro, Provider of epic potions, tablets, and lotions. Made to be worn like a backpack for house calls.

When I first heard there was going to be a Florida Steampunk convention, I had two reactions. The first was “Yay! Home state representing.”  Second was, “What on Earth would Florida Steampunk be, exactly?”  Would it be corset jumpers and flip-flops? Solar blocking monocles and Mecha-Gator surf boards? There was only one way to get an answer, and it was to check it out myself.

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Conventions Alert: Steampunk Empire Symposium this weekend! Plus, Watch City Festival & PortCon Maine

A quick note about some new and upcoming conventions where I’ll be at—

This weekend I’ll be at the Steampunk Empire Symposium as a guest speaker. Looking forward to seeing authors Leanna Renee Hieber and Emilie P Bush, artist Myke Amend, Lord Bobbins of TeslaCon, Steampunk Boba Fett, and rocking to the Extraordinary Contraptions, This Way to Egress, Frenchy & the Punk and the polka-ballads of Veronique Chevalier! And I’m also very, very curious about this tea-duelling thing doing on…  and looking for a Skyline Diner for some Cincinnati Chili. 🙂

I’ll be presenting in the Stratford Theater:

Friday, 10 PM  — Steampunk in Anime
Saturday 11 AM — Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beynd Victoriana
Saturday 2 PM — Envisioning a Better Steam Society – Steampunk & Social Justice Issues

Next in May, I’ll be at the Watch City Festival May 12 & 13 in Waltham, MA presenting with Jaymee Goh!

My schedule:

CDIA (Front Gallery) 11 AM — Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beyond Victoriana (with Jaymee)
Indian Market 5 PM — The Wandering Legion Presents: A Roast of Baron von Lahey


CDIA (Screening Room) 1 PM —  Culture Shocks: Is Steampunk Really a Subculture?
CDIA (Screening Room) 3 PM — Envisioning a Better Steam Society – Steampunk & Social Justice Issues (with Jaymee)

Annnnnd on June, a new convention for me: PortCon in Maine from June 21 – 24, where Lucretia Dearfour and I will be their Steampunk Guests of Honor.

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Updates: Crafting a Life in the Arts, Academics, et al.

First of all, I want to congratulate our winner for the Frank Reade giveaway:

Eric J. of Massachusetts, USA

Thank you everyone for participating! I know in the coming months, I’ll have more in store, so watch this space for more steampunk goodies. ^-^

Also this spring, you may have noticed a derth of updates on this blog. This hasn’t been because steampunk & multiculturalism has fallen to the wayside — far from it! For those not in the know, I am currently finishing up my MA candidate work at New York University with a focus on steampunk performance. This means all of my spare time has been dedicated to the books and what our little community means to pop culture at large.

A bit of a late notice to announce here, but tomorrow, I’ll be at Mount Holyoke College, my alma matter, for their annual Crafting a Life in the Arts event about how to develop a creative career. So if you are in the Pioneer Valley area, don’t hesitate to drop a line.

Additionally, a brief reminder that I’ll also be presenting “Race Matters in Amestris: On the Treatment of Disenfranchised Minorities in Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist “ at the Pop Culture Association/ American Culture Association National Conference from April 11 – 14th. I’ll be up bright and early Thursday, April 12th, for the panel on “Race, Interculturality and Construction of Identity” from 8 – 9:30 in Salon C.

And a nod to my fellow panelists:

Mae Mendoza
“We need to find a safe place:” Constructions of Mexican(/American) Spaces and Technologies in Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles 

Blithe Devon
Dusty Clockworks: A Clockwork Orange and Firefly Through an Intercultural Lens

Leanne Foster
Cyborg Utopia: Rejecting the Myth of Control in Twenty-First Century Post-Determinism Science Fiction

It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to talk with fellow like-minded scholars and geeks. ^-^

Additionally, Beyond Victorana is now an academically-credited source! Christine Ferguson, a researcher from the University of Glasgow contacted me back in 2010 about an article she was working on about steampunk politics. Her piece “Surface Tensions: Steampunk, Subculture, and the Ideology of Style” has recently been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies and she refers to several pieces hosted here, calling us “a groundbreaking postcolonial steampunk blog.” Her assessments about ideologies of steam is an astute contribution and adds to work by previous academics and observers (and will able be a great help in my own research… hint hint for a bigger announcement later this year.)

Updates will continue to be sporadic for the next couple of months, but rest assured that what comes up will be worth it. ^-^

In addition, if you are interested in being a guest blogger, please don’t hesitate to contact me for details.

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New & Upcoming Conventions: TempleCon, PCA/ACA National, Octopodicon

Announcing some new and regular conventions I’ll be attending in the coming months, including some post-apoc fun in Rhode Island, my first-ever, red-blooded academic conference, and a future trip to Oklahoma this fall.

Click after the jump for more details!

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New Events: TeslaCon, Anachronism IV & Steampunk Empire Symposium. Plus, Indigenous Identities Series

Explanation about my scarcity here the past couple of weeks: midterms.

I also wrapped up the first giveaway for Beyond Victoriana’s 2nd anniversary, and give a big confetti-laden congrats to our winners:

Maria B. of California, USA
Archee S. of Queensland, Australia

Watch this space for more to come!

In the meantime, between classes, there are a few events that I’m looking forward to attend as winter approaches.

TeslaCon II is just around the corner, happening the weekend of November 18-20th, and I’m thrilled to be able to check them out after missing it last year. For folks unfamiliar with this convention, it’s claim to fame is being the first immersive steampunk con experience in the US. I’m actually quite interested in finally meeting Lord Bobbins after working with him for Tor.com’s Steampunk Week, and doing work that will go towards my current grad school project. I’ll also have the pleasure of panelling with Austin Sirkin on two panels about literary Orientalism — with one panel being “in-character” and one being “out of character.” Austin has given me permission to punch imperialists in the face at either one. ^_~

In December, I’ll also be at Anachronism IV: Dinosaurs! Think Dinotopia, or pterodactyl jet wings. This should be fun.

And, for those in the Midwest planning their cons in advance, I’ve recently been announced as a guest speaker for the Steampunk Empire Symposium, running April 27 – 29th, 2012 in Cincinnati, OH. They even wrote a nice spotlight too. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Aloysius Fox, one of the co-founders of the Empire, during NYCC and I’m quite excited to head out there next year.

In the meantime, over on the blog, we’ll be doing a brief spotlight series for Native American Heritage month, with the theme of “Indigenous Identities.” This series will be feature various accounts from history and today about native identity & NA notables in North America and Latin America. This has been a topic that’s been on Beyond Victoriana before (with guest blogs from Michael RedTurtle and Monique Poirier). I have a few particular posts lined up, but guest bloggers interested can still contact me with proposals.

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Upcoming Conventions: The Great New England Steampunk Exhibition & New York Comic Con

One more week until the Great New England Steampunk Exhibition! Congrats to the winner of our ticket raffle

Sonya M. of New York!

Many thanks to everyone who had contributed to the Rising Phoenix Fund. Readers may have noticed that we have extended our final deadline for the fundraiser, since we still have a couple of opportunities to raise money for the Fund. There is Tea & Revelry at the ModVic House coming October 8th, 2011 — with tickets still available!

Additionally, at TGNESE, I’ll be paneling and selling buttons all throughout Friday and Saturday of the con. I’ll be doing a whopping ten events there– be sure to check them out

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Convention Extravaganza: Steampunk World’s Fair II

Jake von Slatt's Roadster, featured at the Fair. Image courtesy of Michael Salerno.

Steampunk World’s Fair— the self-proclaimed “largest steampunk festival in the US” had a huge turnout last year and raised expectations for many steampunks for repeat success. Over the course of the year, shifts in management and staff structure sprouted rumors of uncertainty about the success of the con, but this year’s Fair still held a strong and diverse showing of panels, workshops, and entertainments. Previous year’s favorites, including musicians Professor Elemental, Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, Psyche Corporation, Eli August, This Way to Egress, and Frenchy and the Punk returned, with the addition of several other newcomers such as Murder by Death, Copal, Ego Likeness, and Left Outlet.  Events expanded to include book launch parties for Tee Morris and Pip Ballentine’s The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Leanna Renee Hieber’s The Perilous Prophecy of the Goddess and the Guard, and Emilie P. Bush’s The Gospel According to Verdu at the Library of Lost Literature, an academic track, a Tweed Ride, a Dandy Stroll, a charity fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Queen Victoria’s Birthday Party. Other notable programming ranged from workshops on bartitsu and kimono-wearing to pro-union rallies and surviving the apocalypse.

Along with my own con report, which is featured on Tor.com, below is just a sampling of experiences offered by our guest reporters, including Daniel Holzman-Tweed, Austin Sirkin, Lucretia Dearfour, Sean Proper, Matt Deblass and Ekaterina Sedia. Fashion designer Kathryn Paterwic of Redfield Designs also presents her runway collection from the “Across the Universe” fashion show told in her narrated photo essay. Photography from Jessica Lilley, Babette Daniels, Michael Salerno, Monique Poirier, Philip Ng, and myself are also included.

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Next on the Docket: Book Expo America, Steampunk Bible & WisCon

On the heels of recovering from Steampunk World’s Fair, Lucretia and I will be at Book Expo America, working on promoting Art Donovan’s upcoming art book The Art of Steampunk at Book Expo America this Wednesday.

Check out where we will be at during BEA, the upcoming book signing for The Steampunk Bible & happenings at Wiscon!

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Convention Extravaganza–Reporting from Nova Albion: The Wild, Wild East

 First stop in this Con Extravaganza series is Nova Albion, based in Santa Clara, California. This con was formerly named Steam Powered, and I first heard about it from Mike Perschon‘s blog years ago. This year’s Nova Albion is the first steampunk convention to address a non-Western theme, and I was intrigued when they had invited me as a speaker back in the fall of 2010.  Obviously, having a theme like this was an opportunity to break a lot of ground in the community…. or it could’ve easily been flooded with cultural objectification (because we all know how much white people love consuming and commodifying Asian stuff & people) without any equally reciprocal interactions with, well, other Asians & Asian-Americans and our history and culture.

To be honest, this con was great in a lot of ways, but its treatment of the theme wasn’t perfect. I had a bunch of fantastic experiences and a bunch of uncomfortable ones. The reports and footage from this event, then, address a lot of different aspects, and our guest reporters and myself definitely walked away with dynamically different impressions of the con.

In addition to my own report, the Airship Ambassador Kevin Steil returns to give an event-by-event account, as does my intellectual comrade-in-arms Jaymee Goh. Krishna Raghunath also did some film reporting about the con for a class project and graciously offered to post her project here.  All images from Nova Albion are provided by myself and Astra Kim, one of the many new friends I had made at the con.

Check all this out after the jump.

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